Request to Amend Accountability Plan – Iowa – NCLB Policy Letters to States

July 28, 2008

The Honorable Judy Jeffrey
Director of Education
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
East 14th & Grand Streets
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146

Dear Director Jeffrey:

I am writing in response to Iowa’s request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Following discussions between the Department and your staff, you made certain changes to your state accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that Iowa submitted to the Department on July 24, 2008. I am pleased to fully approve Iowa’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of the amendments submitted for the 2007-08 school year is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Iowa’s accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I of the ESEA.

Please also be aware that approval of Iowa’s accountability plan for Title I, including the amendments approved herein, does not indicate that the plan complies with Federal civil rights requirements, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

I am confident that Iowa will continue to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. I wish you well in your school improvement efforts. If you need any additional assistance in implementing the standards, assessment, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Abigail Rogers ( or David Harmon ( of my staff.


Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.


cc: Governor Chet Culver
Kevin Fangman

Amendments to Iowa’s Accountability Plan

The following is a summary of the state’s amendment requests. Please refer to the Department’s website (www.ed.gov for Iowa’s complete accountability plan.

Acceptable amendments

The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations.

Determining adequate yearly progress (AYP) (Element 3.1)

Revision: Iowa will incorporate its growth model into its 2007-08 AYP determinations. Iowa was approved to implement a growth model on August 15, 2007.

Including students with disabilities in AYP (Element 5.3)

Revision: Iowa will use the “proxy method” (option 1 in our guidance dated December 2005 and described in the Department’s Non-Regulatory Guidance regarding Modified Academic Achievement Standards) to take advantage of the transition flexibility authorized in 34 C.F.R. § 200.20(g) regarding calculating AYP for the students with disabilities subgroup. See the Secretary’s guidance at: www.ed.gov Iowa will calculate a proxy to determine the percentage of students with disabilities that is equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students assessed. For the 2007-08 school year only, this proxy will then be added to the percentage of students with disabilities who are proficient. For any school or district that did not make AYP solely due to its students with disabilities subgroup, Iowa will use this adjusted percentage proficient to re-examine whether the school or district made AYP for the 2007-08 school year.

Inclusion of former students with disabilities (Element 5.3)

Revision: Iowa will no longer include students who exit the special education program in the students with disabilities subgroup for an additional two years.

Inclusion of former limited English proficient (LEP) students (Element 5.4)

Revision: Iowa will no longer include students who exit the LEP program in the LEP subgroup for an additional two years.

Graduation rate (Element 7.1)

Revision: In response to a finding from a fall 2007 Title I monitoring visit, Iowa will use its other academic indicators, graduation rate at the high school and district levels and attendance rate for elementary schools and districts without a graduating class, in its AYP determinations. Iowa also affirms that, when calculating safe harbor, a district, school, or subgroup must decrease the percentage of students who are non-proficient by 10 percent from the previous year and meet the requirement for the other academic indicator. The annual targets for graduation rate are:

School Year Graduation Rate Target
2007-08 91.3%
2008-09 91.3%
2009-10 91.3%
2010-11 92.2%
2011-12 93.1%
2012-13 94.1%
2013-14 95.0%

Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans

Request to Amend Accountability Plan - Iowa - NCLB Policy Letters to States